I’m happier avoiding arguments that arise over the subject of the Mideast peace process. Feelings run high and for good reasons.
But I wanted to mention this one because of the people involved. Peter Beinart has written a book about Israel’s settlements policy, his fears about its negative consequences for Israel, and what he thinks should be done about it. It is apparently very controversial, and Andrew Sullivan has been defending Peter on his blog. I know both Peter and Andrew somewhat. Each of them hired me, in separate instances, to draw cartoons for The New Republic Magazine back in the 1990’s. I do not see them often, and I haven’t spoken to either about this subject.
I certainly am not in a position to say anything definitive about either of them, but both strike me as honest, serious people who have genuine commitment to writing what they believe to be true, and constructive. It strikes me as worrisome that they seem to be coming under personalized attack for what they believe and write. Attacks more personal than substantive. On the subject of the settlements, I have written before, that I have never been able to see how the Israeli settlements in the West Bank could lead to a good outcome. Also that the longer it goes on the worse the probable outcome, for everyone involved. So unsurprisingly I’m glad to see the subject getting some needed attention and debate. I hope the subject can be argued on its merits, and not in excessively personalized terms.